Wabi Sabi is wonderful concept of aesthetic values that originated in Japan, placing value on older objects. They might be scratched, nicked or tarnished. But over the years, they have acquired a distinctive character, a patina.
As part of my mosaic work, I search through second hand stores, looking for older objects such as vintage, silver plated trays that have character, patina.
In selecting the object, the rim is important as it frames the mosaic and becomes an essential part of the art. The pattern on the rim of the silver plated tray is distinctive and adds a sculptural element to the piece.
These older objects are usually tarnished and scratched. With a little elbow grease, they can be cleaned and restored. The flat surface of the silver plated tray is polished so that it reflects the light as it passes through the glass, creating depth and a luminous appearance to the mosaic.
After I am finished working on the stained glass panels, I am left with buckets and trays of scrap glass that are hard to rework into a new panel. The scrap pieces are large or small and have odd shapes. They are still good and usable. And I felt it would be a damn shame to toss them, a waste of money and time. They have value and a wonderful look.
This has led me to mosaics, painting with glass, a craft and a fine art form. Rather than fuss around with an instruction book or take a craft class, I enrolled into classes at the Chicago Mosaic School, a major center for mosaic arts in the United States. Aside from its professional staff, the school hosts influential, international mosaic artists who teach aspiring artists in special workshops.
First steps are ragged as I am learning the craft but, I believe, promising. Below a sample of the my first attempts at mosaics.